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Wild kidney bean.

 
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Shalom and welcome dear friends. I wanna address the historical range and use of this wild bean which is related to the Lima. Since there were archaeological sightings of these wild beans being found in Arkansas and Oklahoma today, is it true that all native tribes use the beans back then? Is it also true that the wild beans use to be widespread throughout the eastern half of the U.S in pre-Columbian or prehistoric times. Could you all bring me some documentation or historic records of its former range in the U.S before we go any farther. I'm also looking for its historic use from the tribes. Please let me know if you all found anything before I consider growing it in my gardens for next year. Out!
 
pollinator
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Are you talking about Phaseolus polystachios, sometimes called thicket bean? If so it is still relatively wide spread in my area. There is a patch not far from my house that runs a 1/2 mile or more on both sides of a road. I also know of a least two other patches.

I have a small patch established by my garden gate that has been here five years or so but I have not tried eating the beans.
 
Blake Lenoir
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That's the one! I'd like seeds of those to grow for next year.
 
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Hi, I'd like seeds of this too! a perennial bean sounds great.  Anyone tried it?
 
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The experimental farm network carries seeds for Phaseolus polystachios.
 
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Hmmm.... What growing zone are they in? Lots of items, including this, are out of stock. They have some other stuff listed that I've been thinking about getting next year, so I look forward to when they have their seeds again.
 
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we’ll see if i get my act together to collect some this fall. i think i’ve got a half of a pint jar full of cleaned seed from a couple years ago too if i can find it.

all that to say i may have some on offer in a couple months.
 
Blake Lenoir
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I'd like to see some pictures of the wild beans if you have some on you. What do the young plants look like?
 
greg mosser
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i don’t but i’ll try to take some. the plants are very thin twining vines - there won’t be any young ones out there by now but i’ll see what i can find.
 
greg mosser
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here’s a couple pics. in the first pic there are two vines climbing each other off the top of a weed that i forget the name of at the moment.

in the second one there’s a wild bean climbing up a jewelweed on the right and crossing to the left at about midway. fairly normal-ish if slight bean leaves, on very thin vines. not yet blooming here.
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Blake Lenoir
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Is your yard in the U.S or up in Canada? If you're from Canada, were them beans once native to that country years ago?
 
greg mosser
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i’m in western north carolina, southern appalachians.
 
Blake Lenoir
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We're they common throughout the Carolinas and surrounding areas?
 
Blake Lenoir
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Hello! Anybody here? Continuing on this topic on finding out the pre-settlement range of this wild bean.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Greetings! Has the wild kidney been used in pre-Columbian times by many woodland tribes? And have all Native American limas been domesticated from that bean?
 
Mark Reed
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In my garden these beans mature quite late, pods are just now filling out. Most of mine are descended from some I was gifted from a friend in N Carolina. Those in the wild patches tend to be a little earlier so they may be ready about now. I'll drive or hike over there this weekend and see.  
 
greg mosser
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i think i was that friend in nc. through the homegrown goodness forum? the ones i’ve got here have flowered and made pods. about 1/4 are turning yellow now, and should be plenty old enough to be viable.
 
Mark Reed
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greg mosser wrote:i think i was that friend in nc. through the homegrown goodness forum? the ones i’ve got here have flowered and made pods. about 1/4 are turning yellow now, and should be plenty old enough to be viable.



Yep, I think it was. It's weird that the NC ones mature a little later than the IN ones do. Or maybe it's environmental as the ones in the garden are in full sun and the wild ones are in mostly in pretty dense shade.  The wild IN ones are also a little larger and lighter color. If I'm able to catch them at the right time I could send you some if you want.

Actually I have an 8oz bottle full of them somewhere but haven't been able to locate it. I think that might mean that even though I've used some as cover crops, fed some to critters, sold some and given given away, I still have toooo many seeds.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Mark! I'd like to have some of them beans if you got them available. E-mail me to let me know cause I wanna grow those for my Native American pre-Columbian edible garden.
 
Mark Reed
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@ Blake, sorry I forgot about this until now. Send me your address in a private message and I'll send you some.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Mark! How you been buddy? I'm excited for another growing season, cause I'm growing Cherokee to honor my late grandmother from Oklahoma. She stood on the Cherokee reservation for 18 years and moved to Michigan.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Hey gang. Just back to report the progress of my Native American and wildlife gardens. Mine are a work in progress right now. Mark wherever you at, I hope you can hear me, since I'm still interested in your beans. I've left my address in my private box somewhere. Thanks!
 
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I tried growing these beans last year they unfortunately didn't make it and died. But I still have more seeds and will try again some year. I also have to try growing trailing wild bean again. Another native wild bean.
 
Blake Lenoir
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What's going on! Back again. I wanna find out the wildlife benefits of the plant long term and which pollenators are drawn to the plant?
 
Blake Lenoir
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Greetings! Long time no see on this board. I'm considering growing the wild kidney bean for my Wabash Valley garden and I wanna find out if that bean is native to that area. If there's anybody from that region in Illinois and Indiana out there can help me explain better about the ethnobotany over there, please jump in to give your take. Thanks!
 
pollinator
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They should. I haven't had any luck so far in northeast Ohio, but Prairie Moon only gives out a few seeds of this one at a time & the animals seem to love the heck out of them.

I think there is only two species of Polystacios in the entire Eastern half of North America, plus another unrelated species of bean plant similar to green bean called Trailing Wild Bean. The Wild Kidney Bean should be everywhere from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada & the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains.
 
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Hi, the pollinators i've seen on my established plants are all very small. Longer write up at https://permies.com/t/179300/Phaseolus-polystachios-thicket-bean-wild#1863013

Eh, this was meant to be a reply with a quote. Fiddlesticks.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Morning friends and family! I'm looking for wild kidney bean plants to grow for August and this fall for a head start next year cause I'm growing plants wild and cultivated all native to the Wabash region of Illinois and Indiana for awareness and inspiration and honoring one of the greatest Native American freedom fighters of all time in Tecumseh. Is there anybody out there selling these in pots or roots besides that place in Michigan? Please let me know in the chat. Thanks!
 
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